Marques Colston has been a huge disappointment thus far. While the Saints offense has looked a little more “normal” than what we have come to expect from them, Colston’s production hasn’t even been close to resembling normal.
I think most people drafted him as a WR2, with upside. Some may have chosen to wait on drafting receivers and took Colston as their WR1. Owners that did the latter may in fact be in a pretty big hole right now. They counted on him for the production that he has put up the past several seasons, but in 2013 it just hasn’t been there for some reason.
What’s going on with him? Jimmy Graham has obviously been the go to guy for Drew Brees, which cuts into Colston’s targets. Through six weeks Marques Colston has only managed to accumulate 24 receptions for 324 yards and just ONE touchdown. Colston hasn’t had any major injuries yet, so we can’t blame it on that. He currently ranks third on the team in targets with 34, right below Darren Sproles and just ahead of Pierre Thomas. The issue here seems to be that New Orleans has started to use their running backs more in the passing game, even more than they would have in past seasons.
Darren Sproles is second on the team in receptions, targets and yards which isn’t far fetched, but Pierre Thomas has pretty much assumed the role of the primary running back and has more receptions than Colston, on only three less targets. It also doesn’t help that New Orleans has amassed many targets on this year’s roster. Besides Marques Colston, six players have 10 targets or more. With the target distribution so spread out, it’s hard to judge what kind of stats each player will put any given week.
While all this is frustrating, I feel that if Marques Colston owners have waited this long, they should continue to hold tight. His value is so low that trading him is almost impossible unless it is in a dynasty league. There are a few things that present a glimmer of hope for him to salvage the season. Jimmy Graham suffered an ankle injury in week six and while it is being reported as minor, we all know his history with ankle issues. If Graham is out for any period of time, expect Colston to see an increase in targets. Teams are also going to do their best to take away Graham, possibly freeing up Colston.
Marques is on pace to finish the year with his lowest stat total since his 2006 rookie season, however I have a gut feeling that won’t happen. With the Saints ranking fifth in total offense and third in average passing yards per game, it’s hard to see Colston continuing to be in a slump. Even though Jimmy Graham has emerged as “the guy,” Colston has been a reliable option for Drew Brees since they both arrived in New Orleans. While Colston may not end the year putting up the WR1 numbers some had hoped for, in this offense he’s a safe bet to see a good amount targets in general. He should finish the season as a WR2, hopefully helping you in fantasy football playoffs match-ups.